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No more exciting than a toaster, but comes close to being the perfect minivan appliance.
Camry genes, excellent crash-test ratings, refined powertrain, optional stability control system, available side airbags.
Dull styling, small size, lacks optimal utility.
Available Sienna Models
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New for Sienna are two exterior colors and various audio enhancements. All grades feature a standard AM/FM/cassette audio system. XLE models add a CD deck and offer an optional in-dash six-disc changer.
Now in its third model year, the Toyota Sienna is one of the top competitors in the minivan market. With the Sienna, Toyota has placed an emphasis on safety, quality, and performance.
There are three models: the base CE, the midlevel LE, and the top-level XLE. The CE can be ordered with four or five doors. The LE and XLE come standard with five doors. Under the hood are a standard 3.0-liter V6 and a four-speed automatic transmission. This same powertrain setup can also be found in the Toyota Camry, as the Sienna is built on a stretched and modified Camry platform. In the Sienna, the engine produces 194 horsepower and 209 foot-pounds of torque.
This rigid and lightweight unitized body does exceptionally well in government crash testing. Front driver and passenger airbags are standard, though no side airbags are offered. Other safety features include ABS, front seatbelts with pre-tensioners and force limiters, front height-adjustable seatbelt anchors, and daytime running lights. A low tire-pressure warning system is also a standard feature. The ABS wheel-speed sensors measure each wheel's rotational speed relative to the other wheels, allowing the stem to detect low pneumatic pressure in the tires.
The Sienna's driving experience is similar to the Camry's in that it's pleasantly non-confrontational. Steering is sure if not quite nimble. The suspension does a good job of soaking up road imperfections, and wind noise is kept to a minimum. Acceleration from the V6 is acceptable for almost all situations.
Sienna was designed to offer optimum interior roominess in a compact, easy-to-maneuver package. The interior has a definite Camry feel to it. Removable modular seating allows for custom configurations to accommodate a variety of cargo requirements. Second-row bench seats or captain's chairs and third-row seats can be folded or removed to accommodate bulkier cargo items. Third-row seats also add a 50/50 split-folding and tumble feature for additional cargo space. A power-operated passenger-side sliding door is optional.
Overall, Toyota does not make the biggest minivan, but it does make a convenient alternative to either Chrysler-designed family-haulers or the Honda Odyssey. Need to trade in your old Camry to make room for another member of the family? Toyota has a built-in answer to your dilemma. And it's hoping you see it that way, too.
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